“They’re here! They’re here!” The FruitGuys’ buyers exclaim as if they were kids and a favorite rapscallion uncle has just pulled up in a convertible Caddy with a trunk load of fireworks. FruitGuys’ staff and customers are always delighted at the annual appearance of the Anglecot. The Angelcot is a light cream-colored apricot with a bit of blush and a heavenly flavor. The Angelcot is grown exclusively by Marty Maggiore and his family in Brentwood (Contra Costa County), CA.
Marty Maggiore comes from old apricot stock; his family has been growing apricots since he was a kid. Back in the ‘70s, family friend and local farm advisor Ross Sandborn was “tinkering” with hybridizing a white apricot from seeds from Morocco and Iran and the Tilton Apricot. The resulting Anglecot is prized for its special flavor and unusual light color. It is now a patented variety that the Maggiore family has been growing for the last seven years. They are the national distributor. These precious beauties are only available for a few weeks – so get ‘em while you can.
At Maggiore Ranch, all 20 acres of Anglecot trees ripen at the same time, so it’s a bit of a rush to get them to market. But they can’t be too rushed. This fruit “has to be handled real delicate,” says Marty. The pickers wear white cotton gloves when handling these little cherubs. Another special technique that Marty uses for growing is laying down white cloth under the trees. The reflected light “gives ‘em a beautiful little blush” says Marty.
As with all farmers, there is never a lull in their work. Marty and his family also grow cherries in the famous Brentwood corridor that FruitGuys News mentioned in the U-pick article. They also grow tomatoes for commercial canning and walnuts. Another exclusive crop that Marty has growing is Brentwood Corn – guess what color? White.
- Heidi Lewis